The owner of a Maruti Alto taxi and Tsirang police yesterday searched for the taxi, in vain, that plunged into the Sunkosh river on Sunday, June 21.

The driver escaped unhurt after he swam ashore. There were no passengers in the taxi. The 28-year-old driver, who also owns the taxi, told police that after his taxi veered off the road into the river, he got out from the window and swam to safety. “I watched my taxi being swept away by the river,” he told police.

After swimming to safety, the driver tried to get help by hailing down vehicles for a lift, but none stopped until a driver he knew came by.

The accident happened when he was distracted by a call on his mobile phone, he admitted to police. “I was distracted by my phone which was ringing and I lost control.  By the time I realized my car was toppling,” the statement of the car owner with police stated.

According to police, the car veered off the road at around 3pm on June 21 from a place called Burichhu. The search team led by the superintendent of police in Tsirang couldn’t find the taxi as of yesterday.